Catholic Education South Australia

Designing a Weekly Timetable

This page provides teachers with advice and templates for constructing weekly timetables/routines for online learning.

The sample timetables below show how links to relevant Learning Resources can be added to create daily and weekly lesson plans. The blank templates can be populated by teachers and changed to suit the individual needs of their students.

Developing an online routine

Children and young people are used to the routine and structure of school. To support their ongoing classroom learning, it is important they have as much routine and certainty as possible in their day.  

Teachers can support students’ online classroom learning by: 

  • Establishing a simple, consistent, and predictable daily and/or weekly routine that includes class prayer and engagement
  • Including times for eating, reading, talking, writing, playing and exercise 
  • Populating the routine into a printable document so it can be displayed at home for everyone in the family to see
  • Creating a balance between more formal online classroom learning and engagement with time for reading books, exploring the outdoors and child-initiated learning opportunities; and 
  • Being prepared for things not going to plan and being flexible. 

The routine you create needs to be appropriate to your students’ age and level of schooling. See below for routine guides by year level.

Primary Schooling (R - 2 and Years 3 - 6)

For primary school students, the ‘home school’ day will be significantly shorter than the usual school day. 

Routines should take into account that students working in this mode will generally complete work tasks a lot faster. 

Years R - 2

Students in R-2 classes generally only need one to two hours (excluding breaks) per day of directed activity. 

  • Provide a routine to begin the day which includes getting dressed for school, eating breakfast and gathering/setting up the learning materials needed for the day ahead
  • Provide a routine for learning with includes learning blocks and scheduled breaks which include opportunities for physical activity.

Years 3 - 6

Year 3-6 primary school students will focus on literacy and numeracy in the morning and cover the learning areas of the Australian Curriculum through integrated learning and Religious Education throughout the week. 

Provide a routine for learning which includes learning blocks (up to three one hour sessions) and scheduled breaks which include opportunities for physical activity.

For all primary school students, please consider the following: 

  • As part of the routine, advise a healthy balance between screen time and other activities; encourage students to avoid using their devices or technology during their break times.
  • Encourage and support them to attempt all set work and read all feedback so that they can reassess their learning goals. 
  • If they are having difficulty understanding the task, try to assist them or encourage them to communicate regularly with you.   
  • If you have a concern about their wellbeing please contact relevant parent or carers or the school counsellor.
  • If any student usually receives regular curriculum support in class, please maintain communication with the parents and Education Services Officer (ESO) to access support for adjusting and completing classroom learning tasks. 

Middle Schooling (Years 7 - 10)

As far as possible, routines for secondary school students should follow their usual school timetable while at home.  

Provide a routine for learning which includes learning blocks and scheduled breaks inclusive of opportunities for physical activity.

Consider how you might be able to maintain practical subjects in a creative way using household materials or virtual practicals.

While it is still allowed, there may also be occasions where students will need to attend school, even if they are studying at home. Examples of these occasions include when completing a major work project for the SACE, or possibly collecting/delivering study materials.

For Middle School students, please consider the following: 

  • Students should follow as much as possible their regular timetabled classes; however, teachers should reduce workload expectations to ensure students are not overwhelmed with work demands
  • Clear expectations regarding attendance, punctuality, uniform, preparation of materials and online protocols should be provided to students and families
  • Clear information regarding how students access the learning materials should be shared.  SEQTA is the ideal place to provide weekly overviews, lesson outlines, lesson materials etc
  • Lessons should include time at the beginning of the lesson for instructions / explicit teaching. Students should then have independent work time / small group work time. There should be clear expectations for what students should achieve by the end of the lesson (for example, work uploaded to SEQTA etc).
  • Students should focus on learning tasks, especially during lesson times
  • Teachers should be aware of school expectations regarding student absence and be required to follow up
  • Schedule regular breaks throughout daily timetables to provide opportunities for students to maintain a balance throughout their day, providing time for activities that will benefit their wellbeing. Consider providing Brain Breaks that may include a quick walk outside, enjoying a healthy snack etc.
  • If any student usually receives regular learning support or EALD support, please maintain communication with the parent/carer and Education Services Officer (ESO) regarding adjustments to tasks and support with completing the learning assignments.  
  • Extra care and attention should be given to new students, noting that they will benefit from extra check ins. It may also be useful to set up new students with a buddy from the class so they have a peer they can check in with for any questions.  Similarly, new students should be aware of who to contact in the event of any issues. 

Senior Secondary Schooling (Years 11 - 12)

For all senior secondary students please consider the following: 

  • Within timetables, support students to balance their time effectively and provide opportunities for regular breaks (as they do during a normal school day), to allow them to get some fresh air, exercise, eat healthy and hydrate. 
  • Encourage students to focus on learning tasks, especially during lesson times and curtail social media connection and other non-school online activities to avoid distraction. 
  • Daily and weekly routines should follow as much as possible their regular timetabled classes. 
  • For SACE students support them to remain calm.  The SACE Board recognises the challenges that we, as a society, are faced with. There will be flexibility.  
  • It is important for students to maintain regular contact with teachers and learning support staff to continue the adjustments and learning support that is a necessary component of learning. 


The SACE Board will continue to work with schools and universities to ensure there are no disadvantages this year.  Much of what our students will do at University / TAFE in the future will be online; therefore, this is an opportunity for them to become familiar with this type of learning. 

The SACE Board of SA has developed a COVID-19 readiness portal for teachers, students and the community. This website portal will be the central point for information and updates.